Tottenham midfielder Paulinho has been speaking of his unhappiness at not being first choice, but here's a look at why he does not deserve to.
25-year-old Brazilian midfielder Paulinho has been having a very public back and forth with head coach Tim Sherwood about his place in the squad over the past week.
The £17 million man spoke out his concern for his World Cup place having been dropped recently, only for Sherwood to hit back at him:
"I pick players on what they are doing in training, not on reputations and price tags,” Sherwood said. "I can’t be worrying if the Brazil national manager wants him to play every week. I am going to do what is best for Tottenham, not any national manager."
Paulinho has however given an interview to the Guardian last night in response, in which he bemoans the departure of Andre Villas-Boas: "It was hard to see André go. He was the guy who asked the club to sign me, so you have to be disappointed when that happens.
"Having said that, this is not a new situation in my life. It happened to me in Brazil at Corinthians, when the manager who had got me in the first team [Mano Menezes] left in 2010. The manager changes and you just have to make sure you show the [new] guy you mean business."
And that's the problem, Paulinho hasn't, he has lost form badly, and shown why he deserves to be dropped.
We decided to compare the Brazilian's form between the season's start and gameweek 22, early January - against the last five games in which he started, the last being the 1-0 win over Cardiff in early March.
The five game stretch which preceded his removal from the first team shows a stark loss of form in six key areas.
Paulinho's form gameweeks 1-22
|Player||Team||Pos||Won Tackle / apps||Interception Won / apps||Passing Accuracy %||Key Passes / apps||Touches / apps||Total Scoring Att / apps||Apps||Mins|
Paulinho's form gameweeks 23-28
|Player||Team||Pos||Won Tackle / apps||Interception Won / apps||Passing Accuracy %||Key Passes / apps||Touches / apps||Total Scoring Att / apps||Mins||Apps|
Since the Cardiff game, Paulinho has been reduced to substitute appearances in the Premier League, 29 minutes against Chelsea and 22 against Arsenal only. These samples were not used in the statistics to ensure the per game comparison was not unfairly weighted down.
During the five-game period, he produced less successful tackles, less successful interceptions, and had a lower pass completion percentage. Paulinho also produced fewer key passes per game, touched the ball less frequently, and his shots on goal more than halved.
It looks as thought Tim Sherwood was certainly right to take the midfielder out of the team, now it's just a question of whether he can get back into it, and do enough to stay there.